White Settlement Independent School District

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District of Innovation

White Settlement ISD

 District of Innovation Plan

2017-2018 through 2021-2022
Adopted May 9, 2017

Click here.

I. Introduction

A District of Innovation is a concept passed by the 84th Legislative Session in House Bill 1842 that allows school districts greater local control and flexibility regarding certain provisions of the Texas Education Code in an effort to utilize the designation to better serve students.


District of Innovation Committee & District Planning Committee


Frank Molinar, Superintendent

David Bitters, Assistant Superintendent of Finance & Operations

Chris Jenkins, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, & Administrative Services

Amber Crissey, Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Tim Duncan, Director of Human Resources

Jannette Owens, Director of Business

Desiree Coyle, Director of Communications

Michael Pogue, Director of Special Programs

Amy Ferguson, Director of Bilingual/ESL Services

Karen Gonzales, Director of Early Childhood

Jeff Seeton, Director of CTE

Christie Beaty, Director of Assessment

Pam Turner, BHS Principal

Sherri Kottwitz, BMS Principal

Heather Crow, FAA Principal

Loran Wilburn, Teacher

Layla Arzanipour, Teacher

Chris Walker, Teacher

Josh Ferguson, Teacher

Abby Bergman, Teacher

Susan Hammonds, Teacher

Gloria Espinoza, Teacher

Breanne Ingram, Teacher

Linda Coleman, Teacher

Eva Midkiff, Teaching Assistant

Mandy Jenkins, Special Programs Representative

Connie Bitters, Non-Teaching Campus Based Professional

Candace Summerhill, District Level Non-Teaching Professional

Elizabeth Corley, Parent Representative
Teddy Brannon, Community Representative

White Settlement ISD District of Innovation Timeline


January 11, 2017
      Discussion of District of Innovation by District Planning Committee
January 17, 2017
      Updated School Board about District of Innovation discussion with District Planning Committee
February 15, 2017
      District Executive Team discussion of possible District of Innovation exemptions
February 21, 2017
      Resolution Passed at regular school board meeting in open session
      School Board appointed Superintendent to form a District of Innovation Planning Committee and develop plan in conjunction with    District Planning Committee
      School Board set a public hearing for final plan to be presented for March 30th
February 23, 2017
      District of Innovation Planning Committee met to draft plan
March 2, 2017
      District of Innovation Planning Committee presented preliminary plan to Leadership Team to gather feedback
March 8, 2017
      District of Innovation Planning Committee presented preliminary plan to District Planning Committee to gather feedback and approval
March 23, 2017
      District of Innovation Planning Committee met to draft Final Plan based on stakeholder feedback
March 30, 2017
      District of Innovation Planning Committee presented Final Plan at the public hearing prior to the regular board meeting

March 31, 2017
      Final Plan posted for 30 days (March 31 – April 30)
      Notified Commissioner of Education – certified letter from Board President
April 3, 2017 – April 28, 2017
      Individual Campus Meetings on District of Innovation Plan & 2017-2018 Academic Calendar


May 9, 2017

      School Board adopts Final District of Innovation Plan


II. Term


      The term of the Local Innovation Plan is for five years, beginning May 10, 2017 and ending May 9, 2022, unless terminated or amended earlier by the Board of Trustees in accordance with the law. The committee will revisit the plan annually to ensure that the recommendations are still in line with the needs of the district. Any amendments recommended would be posted on the website for 30 days and require approval of the Innovation Committee and the Board of Trustees.


III. A Comprehensive Educational Program


      The Plan’s comprehensive educational program is guided by and aligned with White Settlement ISD’s Mission, Vision, Motto, and Belief Statements.


Mission Statement:


Fostering a culture of excellence and empowering Brewer Bears to be innovators and leaders of tomorrow by providing premier education.


Vision Statement:


Developing passion to learn … Discovering purpose for tomorrow.




Think Big … Bears Do!


Belief Statements:


We Believe:

      • Students are our top priority
      • Every student has value and purpose
      • Our students deserve a passionate teacher in every classroom every day
      • A safe, secure, and enriched environment enhances learning
      • Learning is a shared responsibility that requires active involvement by students, staff, families, and the community
      • Continuous professional growth is essential for student success


IV.   Innovations Recommended

The District proposes flexibility in the following areas:

  1. First Day of Instruction

         (EB LEGAL) (TEC 25.0811)


Current Law


    FIRST DAY OF INSTRUCTION. (a) Except as provided by this section, a school district may not begin instruction for students for a school year before the fourth Monday in August.




      White Settlement ISD would like to have the flexibility to develop the academic calendar that better fits the needs of the community and start earlier than the fourth Monday of August. This would allow the District Planning Committee to better balance the first and second semesters and provide more instructional days prior to state testing when developing the academic calendar.

  1. Teacher Certification

(DK LEGAL) (TEC 21.003)


Current Law


CERTIFICATION REQUIRED. (a) A person may not be employed as a teacher by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by Subchapter B.




White Settlement ISD would like to make decisions regarding certifications locally based on the needs of the campus and students. WSISD would like the flexibility to consider entering into at-will employment agreements with non-certified individuals who have industry experience in a CTE field.

  1. Probationary Contracts

(DCA LEGAL) (TEC 21.102)


Current Law


      PROBATIONARY CONTRACT. (b) A probationary contract may not be for a term exceeding one school year… except that the probationary period may not exceed one year for a person who has been employed as a teacher in public education for at least five of the eight years preceding employment by the district.




      White Settlement ISD would like to issue a probationary contract for up to two years for experienced teachers, counselors, or nurses to allow for the district to better evaluate the teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom.

  1.  Class Size Waiver

(EEB LEGAL) (TEC 25.112)


Current Law


        CLASS SIZE. (a) Except as otherwise authorized by this section, a school district may not enroll more than 22 students in a kindergarten, first, second, third, or fourth grade class.




        White Settlement ISD’s goal is to continue ensuring a 22:1 classroom ratio; however, the district would like the flexibility to exceed the 22:1 ratio in the event of unforeseen enrollment growth.

  1. Implementation

         This Innovation Plan is designed to create parameters within which White Settlement ISD will operate, in order to provide additional student opportunities. Specific implementation plans will be developed by the appropriate departments.   Adjustments to Board Policy will be researched and adopted where appropriate.